Letters – March 1997

Dear Auntie,

About a year ago, I had a D&C for the second time. My menstrual period following this came out in a dark brown form and it smelled awfully. It later returned to normal, However, sine some few months back, it has started coming out in the same dark brown form with clots. It also lasted for three days instead of five days as before. However, since the last one over a year ago, I haven’t attempted any other D&C.

I am confused about what to do. Before I die from anxiety and thinking, please answer my question in my good time.

Worried Reader,
Molete, Ibadan.


Dear Worried Reader,

Because you have not said so, I presume you are not on the contraceptive pills, which at times may cause shorter menstrual period and less flow, which can be dark brown. If the bleeding smells foul, it is probably an infection and you should see a doctor so that it can be properly treated. If you pass clots in your menstruation, it may be that you still have some products of pregnancy in your uterus: this is dangerous and you need to seek a doctor’s help to get your uterus back in good condition.

Since you are sexually active, you should get counselling from a family planning clinic or a family doctor on how to prevent unwanted pregnancies, because D&C (a method of pregnancy termination) is not meant to be a method of birth-control.

You may want to consider abstaining from sexual activity to keep yourself free from the constant worries about the consequent problems, especially since you are not ready to have a child now.

Dear Auntie,

I would appreciate if you can explain to me the meaning of “wet dreams”? Does it mean the person having it will be bed-wetting?

Wet Dream Enquirer,
Agege, Lagos.


Dear Wet dream Enquirer,

Having we dream is not the same thing as bed wetting because sperm is the fluid involved in we dreams while urine is the fluid involved in bed wetting. Urination occurs when the bladder is full while ejaculation occurs when a person is sexually aroused.

The scientific name for “wet dreams” is nocturnal emissions. Nocturnal means “during the night” and emissions are things that are “emitted” or “sent forth”. So nocturnal emission are ejaculations (sperms emitted or sent forth) at night when one sleeps. During sleep, a little white sticky fluid called semen is discharged through the penis, (looks like pap). When this happens to a boy, he has sexual dreams and feelings at the same time.

A boy does not make sperm in a monthly cycle as a girl does her eggs. He makes them all times millions and millions of them. Wet dream is a normal physiology way of getting rid of unused sperms.

It is possible for a grown man to have wet dreams bit they are much common among boys going through puberty. In fact many boys have their first ejaculations during a wet dream.

Some boys feel worried and guilty about this act. But this should not be so because wet dreams are quite natural and happen to everyone. They are really a sing that a boy is growing normally and therefore something to be proud of.

Wet dreams are also an indication that one can impregnate a girl if one has unprotected sexual intercourse. Unlike many of the myths that are carried about wet dreams, it is not a sin and it cannot neither make you mad nor blind.

Therefore, anytime one has a wet dream, all that needs to be done is to clean up the semen, take a bath and wash one’s pyjamas and bed clothes.

Dear Auntie,

Let me first thank you for the booklet about “Girls Growing Up” which I requested for and received in very good time. I have gone through it and I learnt a lot about the concerns I have.

However, I still have this little problem that is bothering me, and it is not addressed in the booklet. I have a boyfriend who has been asking that we have sex. I have told him to use condoms but he refuses. He has assured me that all is well because he always pours his sperm outside and not inside my vagina.

I want you to explain better why this is so and if there will be problem now or later.

I am 21 years old and he is 23. We have both agreed to marry each other but I do not know what to do, please let me know the way.

Curious Reader, 
Oworonsoki, Lagos.


Dear Curious Reader,

I am happy to know that you found our pamphlet very useful.

Regarding the concern which you have, the method being used by your boyfriend is called the withdrawal method. It is high failure rate, therefore, you can get pregnant. Before ejaculation (release of sperm), a clear fluid called semen is released to neutralize the acidity of the urethra and it contains some sperm cells. If these sperm cells are deposited into the vagina, especially during ovulation it will result in pregnancy. Therefore, you have only been lucky not to have become pregnant before now.

It is very important that you firmly take charge of your life and stand up for exactly what you want for yourself. What commitments/sacrifices is each of you willing to make in this relationship.

If you must have sexual intercourse, you must acquire more information about pregnancy and STD prevention measures.

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